September 12, 2015 was the fifth National Rally Day – and I did a loop up to the north to pick up a few points. My Rally number is getting a little ragged – but it still works – and I had my rally sheet and clipboard ready.
Of course, I made a little run on the highway – and my pencil disappeared. But – I found a pen in the trunk – so all was good.
Here’s the route. Several really nice little roads. Cow Creek road from 1431 to Oatmeal was great – and I decided at the last minute to take County Road 435 south from RM501 to Llano – and it was the best road of the day. The whole route was 383 KM – a nice day’s ride.
Cow Creek Road runs from FM1431 to FM1174 near Oatmeal. It’s a 1-1/2 lane paved road which follows along Cow Creek. Nice roller coaster, winding, no traffic.
Thanks to the recent rain, Cow creek even had water.
This is one of the hundred-and-eight-seven (ok – maybe more like 8) creek crossings along Cow Creek road – it weaves back and forth across the creek in this narrow valley. Great way to start the ride.
You have to stop in Oatmeal for a picture – there is actually no oatmeal at the Oatmeal festival. From Oatmeal I took CR 243 up through Bertram and on up to Briggs, then followed CR 223 along the Lampassas River into Lampassas.
Where they have a big dang flathead catfish in Campbell Park. This was worth a couple of points.
From Lampassas, I headed west on RR501/RR508 – the country starts to feel much more like the western Hill Country out here.
After passing through Bend – which takes longer to type than it does to pass through, I stopped to take a look at the map. I was planning to ride RR508 do TX16, and take that south into Llano. But, I wondered if there might be something smaller that cut off RR508 – and here was San Saba CR 435. This was a good gravel road – not too much washboard – enough loose gravel to slide around a little.
And it had rained the day before – so there were some sections where there was a couple of inches of slick clay mud on the road – this was even more fun!
When I got to Llano, I almost turned around to run that road again – but holy moley – I was hungry – so I hit the Burger Bar.
And they fixed me up with a burger and tots. Great burger – fresh ground beef – hand formed patty – great veggies – and the tots (most magical of fried potato products) were fried crunchy like I like them. With a giant cup of tea it hit the spot.
Leaving Llano, I took 29 down past Buchanan Dam, and then cut south on Park Road 4. This is a nice twisty/roller coaster of a road with great views of the lake and the valley of the Colorado. My only knock on this road is it’s too popular – so I passed a dozen cars in about 15 miles – which is more than I passed the rest of the day put together.
The weather was prefect – a cold front had rolled through and dried out the air – blue skies – high was maybe 85F. Great day to ride.
Of course, one reason to ride Park Road 4 was to get to Marble Falls and the Bluebonnet Cafe. I was a little early for Pie Happy Hour – but – they set me up with a slice of Peanut Butter pie anyway. Good and good for you.
Great day – great ride.